If you want to get rid of electronic equipment that you no longer use and want to protect the environment, the best way is to re-sell it or donate it if it still fairly new and in good shape. If it is old and broken, you should try to take it to an enviromentally responsible recycler. Computer TAKE BACK Campaign has a comprehensive list. Can’t find a recycler near you? Dell will take back your computer (even if it’s not a Dell) for just $10. [Details here.]
The problem of outdated, unwanted computers is huge — and growing still. Discarded computers and other consumer electronics (so called e-waste) are the fastest growing portion of our waste stream — growing almost 3 times faster than our overall municipal waste stream. This waste contains lead, for which the serious health effects are are well known; just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury can contaminate 20 acres of a lake, making the fish unfit to eat.